April 13, 2006

Moussaoui says wants more 9/11s

By Deborah Charles

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (Reuters) - September 11 conspirator
Zacarias Moussaoui said on Thursday he had no regrets for those
who died in the hijacked plane attacks and told jurors in his
death penalty trial he wished "there would be more pain."

In comments that brought at least one relative of a victim
to tears, Moussaoui mocked survivors of the attacks who had
told the court of their pain and said he would like to see
similar attacks against Americans every day.

"I find it disgusting that some people would come here to
share their grief in order to get the death of someone else,"
he said.

"We wanted you to have pain in your country," said
Moussaoui, an admitted al Qaeda member. "I just wish it would
have happened September 12, September 13, September 14 ...
there's no remorse for justice."

He was speaking after a week of graphic testimony by
guilt-stricken survivors of the deadly attacks and sobbing
family members of some of the nearly 3,000 people who died.

Asked during his 2-1/2 hours of testimony whether he had
any regret for the suffering caused by the attacks, Moussaoui
responded: "None whatsoever."

Moussaoui said he had enjoyed recent images in court
showing the Pentagon after it was attacked on September 11 and
said reports of all the deaths "make my day."

His comments prompted tears from a distraught family member
of one victim who eventually got up and left the courtroom.

Moussaoui, 37, who has pleaded guilty to six counts of
conspiracy in connection with the attacks, pulled back from
statements made after his indictment that indicated he would
welcome a death sentence.

His lawyer Gerald Zerkin showed him a filing he made to the
court in August 2002 in which he said the "greatest jihad in
Islam is to speak the truth in front of the tyrant and be
executed for it."

Moussaoui said he no longer wanted to include the "and be
executed" part, because he had consulted Islamic books and
decided that violated Muslim religious beliefs.


Moussaoui, who was taking the stand for the second time at
his sentencing trial against the advice of his lawyers, also
criticized his court-appointed defense team. He said their
strategy should have included the argument that life in prison
was the best punishment since execution would reward him with

Defense lawyers are trying to persuade the jury that
Moussaoui is mentally unstable with delusions of importance in
al Qaeda and should not be sentenced to death.

Moussaoui said in court last month that he was supposed to
fly a fifth plane into the White House as part of the al Qaeda
hijacking plot. That contradicted his previous claims that he
was not meant to be part of the September 11 hijacking, but was
supposed to be in a second wave of attacks.

Moussaoui, dressed in a green prisoner jumpsuit and a white
cap, said on Thursday his testimony made little difference.

"I thought about ... the consequences for me saying I was a
part of 9/11. I decided to just put my trust in God and tell
the truth and time will tell," he said.

"Even without my testimony, taking into account the emotion
of the case, there was definitely a chance I would be found
eligible for death," he said.

The 12-person jury has already found that Moussaoui is
eligible for execution. Jurors are now deciding whether to
sentence him to death or life in prison.

The defense should wrap up its case by next week and jurors
will then start deliberating.